For many of you who know me personally, you are aware the last year has been bumpy to say the least. The uncertainty of living life and not knowing what will occur from one day to the next has been life changing. Not the hardest or most painful of experiences in my life, yet certainly the most disturbing, intrusive and disruptive.
Life has this way of finding opportunities right at inconvenient times. Just when we think we are on track; I had the 5 year plan well & truly underway, it was all happening. Then 'bam' the rug came out from underneath & in one swift move, no home, no car, no work & the uncertainty of not knowing if there would be a tomorrow & what would it be like.
It is nearly a year since this all began and I look back with a view so distant and unfamiliar, with eyes attached to a different body & mind. I have changed, completely, physically & psychologically.
Life has this way of putting the greens on the plate & when we refuse to eat what is good for us, we seem to miss out on desert. Maybe the hardest lessons are really the most simple, yet our minds are so overwhelmed with wants we can't see what we truly need, what is good for us.
I didn't notice a lot of things back then, I was too busy making plans, revising the one I had, sticking to it & failed to see so much else going on around me.
I'd like to think that moment, that night of intense fear, anxiety & life changing was the best opportunity life has given me. It was an impact moment, a catalyst for change.
The other evening I was in the supermarket, out of all the many people I found myself in an isle next to a young woman & right at one moment we locked eyes. It was the most unusual experience, words are limited to describe.
The young woman was around 19yrs of age; wearing an oversized old man's jacket, thongs on her feet, appeared underweight & her hair you could see had the potential to grace shampoo commercials, was slightly matted, oily and wanting of t.l.c. I noticed she was searching through loose change, standing by the UHT milk section. It was a freezing cold night and she was shivering. She had the most beautiful cheekbones underneath pale skin and at that moment when she looked at me I truly felt a pain that did not belong to me, a sadness radiating from her eyes and I began to become emotional, I could feel tears, yet they didn't feel like my tears.
I quickly turned away & looked in the other direction, yet when I turned back she was again looking at me. I noticed in my basket I had a 3lt fresh milk bottle, some hair products, fresh vegetables and I was wearing my ski jacket, despite it being the north coast & no snow, it was warm & a beautiful jacket. I had on warm boots & a pair of jeans I had recently purchased; some makeup & my hair had been treated to the curling iron & some frosted tips.
When I realised I tried to look again & she was gone. I wanted to give her the money for the milk and more. I wanted to ask if she needed a ride anywhere. I know some of you who know me are wondering what was I thinking. I cannot explain this only to say right then at that moment I felt a saddness that has lingered with me since then.
I went home & told my daughter about what had happened and even trying to recount the experience, through a glance which may have lasted only a few moments I could feel so much, how could I not have seen this so many times before?
I've seen saddness, the depths of despair and emotions from a side of humanity many will never see; yet this was different, this was raw & it was like I could feel her pain.
Is it possible?
I could feel loneliness, her loneliness.
Earlier the year I had a similar experience & throughout my life I've had experiences with friends & family where instinctively despite miles in between I knew something was not right & my instincts never failed me. It's the quiet voice inside from the depths of something greater than science can define, something which I believe we carry, all of us. Too often it is suppressed by greed, anger, hate, the emotions which are unique to human beings.
There have been times a connection with another person has changed the way I see the world, feel the world & want to be in the world. I've seen these experiences as a gift. Some of them you may consider tragic, terrifying, even painful; yet to me they were moments in my life I came to a crossroad & I had to choose which way to go next.
I can remember a young woman once, similar to that young lady above. I was talking with her about attachment, her experiences as a child of being held, touched and supported. I had not long finished Dr Bruce Perry's book 'The boy who was raised like a dog' & seeking an understanding of what had brought this young person to such a tragic outcome. The young woman expressed confusion over the questions "what do you mean" & truly she did not understand what was mean't by my questions. The young woman had no cuddles, no love, no affection reciprocated in a positive and healthy attachment building form. How could a human being possibly grow & discover the joy of human connection if they have never been part of a healthy connection with anyone? Immediately the Dr Perry's story of the foster carer who takes in both a mother and her new baby came to bind. The carer would hold & comfort both the child & the parent; with a belief they were both in need & it was not too late to provide the missing connection in order to prevent the cycle from continuing. This amazing woman shared her gifts of reciprocated love with her own children & passed it forward to many more.
This morning I answered a response on the 'Beinspired' page in relation to one persons search for answers about when will life begin, what is the new beginning, what will it be, how will it look.
I do not have those answers for anyone else. I do know with total conviction, when you listen to the quiet voice in your heart, the voice of longing, telling you what to do, who to seek out, the voice of reason, of compassion, kindness and love, there is a power within us many have tried to define in books like 'The Secret' & 'The Intention Experiement'. We have the power to manifest our thoughts into reality. To bring into our life opportunities to change, yes be careful what you ask for.
No I don't mean you asked for abuse, for suffering.
I know I was thinking about that time last year lots about not having dinner with my children, racing out the door early, the Nanny spending more time with them at critical times than I was. Carrying the concerns of not coming home & sending them to someone elses home while I'd be away for a few days, working, working, working. I was thinking about needing more time with them, how could I make it happen.
Well it did happen, just not in the form I thought!!!
As we grow older, wiser, we are capable of making much better choices, of thinking more powerful thoughts, dreaming big. If your dreams aren't big then they are not dreams!
Life is now, right now and you can choose to begin it anytime.
All around us every single day are blessings, are we fortunate.
We are the sum of all our experiences good and bad, the sum of all the choices we make, our choices.
If you are waiting for life to hand you a road map with directions on where to go and what to do, who to speak with along the way, what treasures to collect and discard, you will miss the greatest of opportunities to live, truly live! What are you capable of? Ever asked yourself....if I really gave life 150% what could I create?
Imagine getting up every morning & breathing in life. Imagine getting up in clean crisp sheets, warm blankets & embracing the morning. Imagine switching on the kettle, using the power trickling through your home & making yourself a morning cuppa, rugged up in slippers and a warm gown or pj's & finding a seat somewhere to contemplate the day. You turn on the shower & the water is hot, the shower wash is soft & smooth against your skin & you enjoy every moment of the 5 minutes without interruption before the children are up & filling your morning with conversation. You are not alone, your home & life is filled with people, love & living.
The life you have, is by pure genetic chance you were born into the family, the country, the situation you experience right now. You have contributed to this life by the choices you've made, some thrusted upon you, some made in haste, some you may regret! Oh regrets are wasted! Believe me. What you did then & what you will do will be different, experience is a wonderful gift :) If you are not happy where you are right now, what the hell are you doing? Do you have a plan for change? Why not? You were given life, go live it, damn it!
Why are millions of women & men around the globe making one woman a millionaire with the astronomical sales of the soft mummy porn book 'Fifty Shades of Grey', given the writing is ordinary? Why.....it reminds us all of passion, extreme passion, abandonment, what people are willing to give, sacrifice and experience when they embrace who they are, life and all that is can give & take away. Why are people so afraid to talk about sex? Why are so many people turning to the erotic tales of a young couple in a bestseller to remind them they are human beings, they can create life, they can be passionate, they can choose a different way to love, a more adventurous & exciting reciprocated passion with a partner who wants every moment with them.
A short while ago I read a few pieces on Bettina Arndt's 'The sex diaries' & 'What men want in bed' http://www.bettinaarndt.com.au/ .
From a psychological perspective relationships are complicated and incredibly interesting & i'm yet to decide if this is a direction I would like to take my career.
How can a couple live together for over 20years with no or limited intimacy? How can two people make a committment, express & vow love for each other, yet lack trust, honesty, respect and the ability to share one of the most beautiful & exciting parts of a relationship?
OK....you don't need to be genius to realise men & women need & desire different things? What if you learned what that was? Who are you to assume that love & passion only comes in the way you imagine it? What if it was more.....oh so much more..... Obviously there are millions of readers out there wanting & creating more given the feedback, talkshow domination of FSOG series!
We can choose to embrace life, to be grateful for all the rewards we are given, the simple pleasures, the miracles, the love we are surrounded by. We can choose gratefulness. We can choose no matter where we are & what we are experiencing, people can take so much from us, life can take too much, it cannot ever take our thoughts, our imagination, our dreams, our hopes! It cannot take who we are.
Today is Sunday. The kids are sleeping in, I've already had a few cups of tea, thinking about a run, some yoga and inspired by a gorgeous talented creative friend, going to pick up a paint brush & create a little magic. I have choices.
In the last year I have made the most amazing friends. I discovered yoga! I discovered fitness! I discovered my body & mind are close friends & I need to nurture that relationship everyday.
I discovered I can let these experiences break me or make me.
I can repeat a daily mantra to myself of "Dear Past, thank you for the lessons......Dear Future I am ready" thank you Jacleen Allen for this!
I can can slow down & breathe in & out; inhale everything life has on offer, exhale only that which is of no purpose to moving me forward, inhale & release, inhale & release.
I've noticed in my yoga sessions when I inhale & then exhale during a difficult position I gain more flexibility. Laying across my legs, my posture slightly tight at the beginning, then inhale & exhale, I slowly over 10 breathes I am laying completely flat over my legs. With every exhale I gain more movement, more flexibility.
Get rid of the crap everyone! Exhale!!!! Stop holding your breathe waiting for life to give you a way out or a way in. Grab life with both hands and say this is my day, my week, my year and I am going to give back x10 fold. I am alive, I have everything I need right here right now & I am capable of anything I put my mind to.
What are you passionate about? Why are you not living your passion daily?
What do you love? What makes you feel warm & fuzzy inside?
I learned this year to ignore rational thinking at times, though I in hindsight I believe it is more the ego Eckhart Tolle speaks of in his books. I made conscious decisions to go with the here & now, to give freely even when there was nothing in return, to love with abandonment, to not give up on myself or others. To dream big & big I have dreamed!
What are dreams worth if not to bring into reality?
What is love in our hearts if not to be shared?
If you are tightly holding someone or something in your hands how can you possibly embrace anything else? How can you call it love if you are holding someone back from being the best they can be. Love has no limits or boundaries.
What happened as a child if you caught a gorgeous butterfly in a container all because you wanted to capture its beauty & never let it go, so you, only you could enjoy it, just you. What happened to that butterfly? Where is it now?
We are not made to possess or capture each other, to hold back from all we are mean't to be. When we embrace, share, give and love, there is a passion which radiates like a glow in our soul, we are rich every day for it.
A few years ago I participated in a compacting challenge. It required not purchasing for several months. Only needs e.g. food, petrol etc. It required if something came up, a need etc like whilst I ran out of paint, to link in with others & seek out from someone else who wasn't using it, didn't need it & could even swap for something they were short on; to reduce waste on the planet, to recycle and leave a softer footprint.
What if we could love like this? Live like this?
What if it were not only in relation to material possessions?
What if one day in the supermarket you had $5 remaining in your purse & the person in front was searching for loose change & you freely paid for their milk?
Some years ago I was juggling a baby on the hip, children by the hand & fumbling for change to pay for photocopying at the library. I must have looked a bit frazzled & this gorgeous woman from behind said "i'll do that" & paid my photocopying. I was a little taken back at the time, I hadn't had that experience before. There was something familiar about the lady & yet I couldn't put my finger on it at the time. A gentleness I'd known before & she looked at me in the same way.
Later that day I was out at the cemetry laying flowers for my son, then I realised the woman was the mother of a friend who had died when I was younger, our birthdays were only a few days apart, he died following his 21st birthday in an accident. We had become friends after that & chatted for hours. I just wanted to be there for her at that time when so many people didn't know what to say & didn't come around. I know that feeling now.
All those years & time had passed.
Why does life give us those connections? Who are we to question the power of the Universe? How much will we never understand?
There are opportunities to make life gentler, to ease life for others on a daily basis.
What if today you started to be part of a change, instead of part of the problem? What if we started a ripple effect by creating a world of people who decided to give instead of take? What if you loved unconditionally? What if you listened to the strength & voice of your heart, you need to listen carefully as it whispers softly. What if it was speaking to you & ignorance, arrogance and fear was silencing it all this time?
What could you be capable of discovering about life if you only listened to your heart?
We all have amazing skills, talents, creativity, love, passion, things which make us who we are. What if we gave away freely our love, we expected nothing in return, if we shared our wisdom, without expectation?
The last 12 months have taught me, what having my home ransacked, being targeted day in & out by persons so angry with a decision I made they felt it their life purpose to take as much from my life as they could; what losing years of paintings I'd created, losing treasures I'd kept, the dinner set my parents had collected for me, each piece on a birthday or special occasion; what this experience, what losing my son to cancer, my sister's death, my marriage not working, all these life changing experiences have shown me, is this is my life, they are me! The scars, the smiles, the tattoos, they are all me!
I do not minimise the pain these experiences bring or the struggles to endure them, nor suggesting life is easy. I am not where you are right now.
I wish I could hug you all, everyone of you & make life a little easier, for now I have my words, to inspire you to damn it....get up! Grab life & create everything you wish it to be, make your dreams come alive, light a spark in the dreams of others.
Life is beginning today, right now, here for you. All that is in the past will not change, it is locked & sealed in history; your history. A history your were part of, a history which has shaped you, it has not defined you!
Life is beginning today, for you, right here right now.
All that is in front is up to you.
Go forward today & breathe in life, breathe! Exhale the crap, the bits that when you got down in the crap some of it stuck to you...flick it off, scrub it off if you need to.
Stand in front of the mirror, create a mantra to yourself to keep you going, to keep you inspired, chant it everyday to yourself.
Tell yourself you have everything it takes to go forth now! What you will do is take on whatever life has to throw your way, catch it & tell the rest to get the hell out of the way, you are on a journey.
You are going to meet the most incredible people, they will touch you, move you & change you. Let them. Let them live their lives, be their moment in time & then keep going. Whatever is mean't to be, will be, time, distance and life will not stand in the way of who you are, who you are destined to be.
Start living your bucket list!
Start living your dreams!
If you cannot financially or physically make it happen today, get out the paper, the magazines, the internet & create a visual reminder of where you are going, inspire yourself every single day. This is your own intention experiment.
If you want to be there, then visualise it, feel it, touch it, make it happen.
People will come in and out of your life for either a season or a reason, they need you & you need them, we each give off energy, we radiate a presence to each other & to ignore it will see you wondering why years down the track you are getting the same experience in a different form. You are your own vehicle of discovery.
Get out there & have the adventure of your LIFE! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX